The Malta Independent 14 November 2018, Wednesday

Medical students welcome work done to increase posts in Foundation Programme

Malta Independent Thursday, 21 August 2014, 19:30 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Malta Medical Students' Association (MMSA) welcomes the news that work is being done to increase the number of posts being offered in the Maltese Foundation Programme.

The news was announced following a meeting held with the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mr Chris Fearne, earlier this morning.

This two-year Foundation Programme was officially set up in Malta in 2009, as an affiliated programme with the UK. It is obligatory and provides all newly-graduated doctors the necessary internship training needed to obtain their warrant to practice medicine and pursue their studies in the field.

The meeting was called by the MMSA in light of the increasing number of students being admitted into the medical course, with next October's admissions reaching a total of more than 200 students. Representatives from the MMSA Board of Directors expressed their concern that the increasing number of students would eventually find difficulty in furthering their studies here in Malta once they finish the final year of the medical course. This is of particular relevance when one considers that 100 posts are available each year in the Foundation Programme offered here in Malta, a situation which may eventually lead to a good proportion of students having to pursue this training abroad or skip a year altogether and reapply in the following year.

In an effort to promote equal educational opportunities to all its student members, the MMSA stressed the need to increase the number of posts being offered in our country's Foundation Programme.

Mr Fearne explained that negotiations are underway between Malta and the UK to increase the posts being offered. While the exact numbers are still being negotiated, he stated that this will improve the opportunities offered to medical students and junior doctors here in Malta, allowing more students to stay on the island to pursue this obligatory training.

The MMSA welcomed this news as a positive step towards addressing the current situation and looks forward to any developments in this regard. The association will also be conducting a study with its members in the coming months, in order to obtain information on where they want to pursue their studies once they graduate.

The information obtained from such a study would then be passed on to the relevant authorities in order to aid the negotiation process currently in progress.

In conclusion, the MMSA would like to thank Mr Fearne and all those involved in this negotiation process and looks forward to future collaborations with the Maltese government and the relevant authorities in addressing the issue at hand.

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